Central cagers top boys 66-51

Central 66

Sweet Home 51

The Husky boys left a performance slump behind as they faced fourth-ranked Central Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to hold off a 66-51 loss in basketball.

“We played much better,” Coach Mark Risen said. “In at least the first game in five games, I feel like we really came out and put out the kind of effort we’re capable of putting out.”

The Huskies led Central 17-16 at the end of the first quarter and trailed 29-25 at halftime. Central held a 42-40 lead at the end of the third, but the Huskies led by two with six minutes left in the game. Then they gave up an 8-0 run and trailed by six. Free throws built Central’s winning margin.

The Huskies faced some adversity Friday night when the game was moved from their home court to Central. The construction of the new gym temporarily disrupted the high school’s sewer connection. That combined with Central’s skill and position in the statewide coaches poll were among factors weighing against the Huskies.

“Ricky Howe, with 29, obviously had a big night for us,” Coach Risen said. “If he gets rolling, he can get 30 any given night.”

Beyond his prowess at the hoop, Howe played a key part all over the courts, in rebounding and defense, Coach Risen said.

Tyler Emmert gave another solid performance on offense and defense, Coach Risen said. Anthony Mink sprained his ankle in the third quarter, and Ravi Patel stepped in.

“We didn’t miss a beat with Ravi in,” Coach Risen said. He played with confidence.

Seth Graves added a good performance on defense, Coach Risen said. “Tim Matuszak did an amazing job running the show for us … and defensively did a good job on Braziel.”

Braziel scored several points early in the game, Coach Risen said. He assigned Matuszak to him and cut Braziel’s point production.

Overall, Coach Risen was proud of his team’s performance.

“We’re looking at this as the final steps before league,” Coach Risen said. The Huskies were looking at the game to set the tone for league, “and we accomplished that.”

It wasn’t until they looked at the video tape afterward that the team could tell how many turnovers it had, Coach Risen said. The Huskies turned the ball over 32 times.

“Our next step tomorrow night (Tuesday) is to turn 10 of those turnovers into 10 good clean shots at the basket,” Coach Risen said. Turnovers are the one statistical area where the Huskies are still struggling, and it’s primarily just complacency with the ball, something the Huskies have control over.

Adding to Husky scoring were Emmert with seven; Mink, five; Mike Severns, four; Brian Seward, two; Matuszak, two; Patel, one; and Matt Slauson, one.

Pratt led Central with 24. Braziel added 19.